STOP: Stop Tar Sands Operations Permanently

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Archive for June 27th, 2008

Greenpeace’s Hidden Agenda – They want to save the environment

Posted by mhudema on June 27, 2008

Fri, June 27, 2008
Stelmach complains of environmentalist ‘hidden agenda’

Says some are targeting the provincial economy



Premier Ed Stelmach launched into a scathing attack against Alberta’s environmental critics today, saying some may have ulterior motives to attack the provincial economy.

His opponents on the issue immediately responded that Stelmach was fear mongering.

The suggestion came at a news conference to kick off Stelmach’s trip to the Western Governors’ Association annual meeting in Jackson Wyoming this Sunday, at which he’ll pitch Alberta’s environmental plan.

Asked for his view of Federal Liberal Leader Stephane Dion’s “green shift” carbon tax, Stelmach said Dion’s notion that Alberta and Saskatchewan contribute 40% of Canada’s greenhouse gases and should pay more are ridiculous and based on outlandish statistics.

He also lashed out at a Greenpeace spoof of the Travel Alberta website, called, which uses images of environmental degradation by industry to criticize his government’s direction, calling it disgusting.

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Area residents voice upgrader concerns

Posted by mhudema on June 27, 2008

Sturgeon County upgrader plans cause frustration for heartland farmers, residents

By Conal MacMillan
Record Staff
Friday June 27, 2008

Strathcona County resident Maureen Chichak was among several industrial heartland residents who joined together to form Concerned Citizens for Responsible Development, announced a press conference last week in Edmonton.

Conal MacMillan/Fort Record

Over 100 residents and activists began airing their concerns about a proposed Sturgeon County upgrader Monday as a public hearing into the Petro Canada Fort Hills project got underway in Fort Saskatchewan.

The capacity crowd at the Ross Creek Room in the Lakeview Inn and Suites spilled into the hallway as the Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB) started its public hearing into the upgrader project planned for a site north of Fort Saskatchewan.

Greenpeace and Sierra Club activists greeted the gathering outside with “Stelmach’s backyard = Cancer alley” signs and a Premier Ed Stelmach mask.
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Denial Machine Heads to Wyoming

Posted by mhudema on June 27, 2008

Alta. premier heads to Wyoming to wage PR war for oilsands
Archie McLean
Canwest News Service
Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach is on his way to the state of Wyoming south of Alberta to sell the oilsands.
CREDIT: Todd Korol/Reuters
Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach is on his way to the state of Wyoming south of Alberta to sell the oilsands.

EDMONTON – Premier Ed Stelmach will pitch Alberta as a stable and nearby source of energy for American states when he meets with western U.S. governors next week in Wyoming.

“I’m going there specifically to share the correct information, the facts about Alberta’s energy production, our legislation, what we’ve accomplished so far in carbon reductions – and also to share information on what the future will look like in terms of improvements in the oilsands reduction of the carbon footprint,” Stelmach said Friday.

But Stelmach is taking his message into increasingly hostile territory. Presidential candidate Barack Obama, U.S. mayors and environmental groups have all recently questioned the environmental impact of the oilsands.

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Premier says Canada has supported U.S. war efforts, so don’t snub Alberta oil

Posted by mhudema on June 27, 2008

EDMONTON – Premier Ed Stelmach says Canada has “protected the backs” of Americans in several wars, and U.S. politicians should consider that before rejecting what some have called dirty oil from Alberta’s oilsands.

Stelmach says Canada and the United States have been together in both world wars and are currently side by side in the Middle East and Afghanistan.

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Greenjobs are the Future for Alberta and Saskatchewan

Posted by mhudema on June 27, 2008

Dion’s plan targets oil-rich provinces

Tax to hit Alberta, Saskatchewan hard

From Friday’s Globe and Mail

TORONTO — Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion says 40 per cent of Canada’s carbon emissions come from Alberta and Saskatchewan and the two western provinces will have to do the most to change their habits under his new green plan. But he said it will be good for them – and he’s taking that message to the Calgary Stampede next weekend.

“If we do this plan, Alberta and Saskatchewan will be better off 10 years from now than if we don’t do this plan,” Mr. Dion said. “Their economies will be more diversified, their universities will be at the centre of something big happening around the world, and investments will grow.”

He rejected the notion that the two highest polluting provinces having to contend with a greater carbon tax burden could result in Western alienation.

Liberal leader Stéphane Dion announces his carbon tax plan  in Ottawa on June 19. Tom Hanson/The Canadian Press

Enlarge ImageLiberal leader Stéphane Dion announces his carbon tax plan in Ottawa on June 19. (Tom Hanson/The Canadian Press)

“To do the right thing will be beneficial for them,” Mr. Dion told The Globe and Mail’s editorial board. “I care about Alberta and Saskatchewan. I know many people who want to do the right thing. Many will know that it will create jobs there – green jobs.”

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Posted by mhudema on June 27, 2008

Suncor Energy Inc. and other oil companies have their work cut out for them in promoting an eco-friendly image of Alberta’s tar sands.

Environmental groups are cranking up their efforts to counter the public relations campaign launched recently by the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers.

This week, Greenpeace Canada set up a spoof website,, which includes a satiric travelogue encouraging visitors to surf on water diverted from the province’s rivers to the oil sands, parasail on “the unique coal-bed methane and sour gas updrafts,” and fish in the polluted tailing ponds.

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Tar Sands Travel

Posted by mhudema on June 27, 2008

Greenpeace has launched its own website to counter the greenwashing they say is being done by the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP).

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The propoganda battle over the tar sands in Alberta heats up as Greenpeace launches a new website. The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) has begun a new campaign to coincide with Alberta’s “rebranding” of the tar sands, and the site,, is being launched as a response to that effort. is counting on humour to communicate a very serious issue to Canadian and international audiences about the destructive nature of the world’s largest industrial development.

For example, the site showcases showcases some of the unique attractions that await travelers to Alberta: Black sand beaches, toxic lakes and clearcut forests. Until now, this kind of vacation destination was merely the stuff of science fiction; but now, it can be experienced first-hand.

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Investment and the Tar Sands

Posted by mhudema on June 27, 2008

June 26, 2008

Shelley Alpern on How Tar Sands Perpetuate Petro-Addiction
by Bill Baue

SocialFunds writer Bill Baue speaks with Shelley Alpern of Trillium Asset Management about its shareholder activism on oil company exploitation of tar sands. — In a 2006 Rolling Stone interview, Al Gore infamously likened the practice of extracting oil from tar sands to “junkies find[ing] veins in their toes” to inject heroin. Gore’s image simply extends to its logical conclusion George Bush’s 2006 State of the Union “addicted to oil” metaphor. Clean, renewable energy represents a healthy cure for petro-addiction. Tar sands, which increase the carbon intensity of petroleum extraction, represent an exacerbation of the climate-changing addiction — kind of like trying to cure heroin addiction by injecting arsenic.

SocialFunds writer Bill Baue recently spoke with Shelley Alpern, director of social research and advocacy at Trillium Asset Management, about her shareholder activism asking oil companies such as ConocoPhillips and BP to assess and disclose the social, environmental, and financial risks of tar sands exploitation.
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Alberta’s PR Machine goes to Chicago

Posted by mhudema on June 27, 2008

The filthiest crude: like squeezing blood from a rock and a zillion times more destructive.

POSTED June 25, 9:13 PM

Four tons of forest=one barrel of oil.

The practical…whatever will most predictably and most quickly make a profit…is synonymous with the immediate. The long-term effects of the values and acts of “practical men” lie outside the boundaries of their interest. For such people a strip mine ceases to exist as soon as the coal has been extracted. Short-term practicality is long-term idiocy.
~Wendell Berry

Last week, the Energy Minister for the province of Alberta stopped in Chicago. He was on a campaign to import oil wrung from Alberta’s tar sands into the U.S., via a pipeline that would run through Illinois.
Tar sands are extensive deposits of sand, clay and silt mixed with bitumen–a viscous, oil-rich tar–that sit beneath Canada’s Boreal forest. The only way to extract this bitumen, which makes up about 10% of the concoction, is by razing forests and then open-pit mining the sand. Only a fraction of the deposit can be reached by digging; the rest is forced to the surface by pumping steam underground. About four tons of earth is mined for every barrel of oil produced. Once the bitumen is separated out from other organic materials, it must undergo an energy intensive process to be converted into crude. Five barrels of water are polluted and over 1,000 cubic feet of natural gas are consumed to process one barrel of tar sands oil. The toxic water is held in storage lagoons large enough to be seen from space, poisoning surrounding wildlife and habitats. Tar sands oil refinement emits two to five times more carbon dioxide than conventional oil processing. Firsthand witnesses of the Alberta tar sands strip mining operation have likened the scene to Tolkien’s Mordor. Environmental Defence Canada released a report on the industry entitled The Most Destructive Project on Earth.
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It offend me deeply….

Posted by mhudema on June 27, 2008

Thursday, June 26, 2008

“It offends me deeply to hear people say dirty oil” – Iris Evans

Oh yeah? Well it offends my rights and that of billions of humans and countless species that people like Alberta Finance Minister Iris Evans (originator of the title quote) encourages the production of dirty oil.

Alberta politicians and oil
producers are fighting back at a resolution passed by U.S. mayors calling for a boycott of fuel from Alberta’s oilsands. At their annual meeting in Florida, the American mayors passed a resolution that urges major American cities to ban the u
se of fuel from the oilsands in municipal vehicles.

The mayors claim that producing oil from the oilsands emits three times as much carbon dioxide into the environment as conventional oil production.

Even though the boycott will not make much of an immediate difference to Alberta oil companies since it would be difficult to enforce and too easy to slip by, the longer term effects will pack a huge punch. To have US mayors declaring Alberta oil dirty and harmful to environments, public opinion shifts more in favour of plans which truly reduce emissions.

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